Greetings Wanderers and welcome to a very special edition of Paddy's Poetry Corner. As you all know, I post up some of my poems in the Corner from time to time. You also know that I am a great lover of poetry, but you may not know I am a contest freak. I love a contest and every once in a blue moon, I win a prize, sometimes, even a Major Award. This time around it's like peanut butter and chocolate. Not only did I win a contest but I get a poem as a prize!
The contest entailed sending in six words(those six words were surprise, love, carnation, autumn, parchment and rain) to use in a poem and if your name was drawn out of the hat, you win a Sestina written for you using those words you entered, pretty cool huh? So, as I always say I am one lucky.. well I won and its a big deal, 'cause I get to share it on the blog with you and an audio version. A Sestina is not easy to write, it is one of my White Whales, this is why, and why it is so cool.
Today I was doing a bit of house cleaning because it is a day of firsts. First time we entertain a guest and their art and a first with an audio file. So I swept out the corner, dusted off the seat, turned up the mic, turned on the spot light and dimmed the leg lamps. I cracked my knuckles and warmed up the bongos, so my Wanderers, lets give our guest a big round of snapping fingers...
Surprise Love by Jennifer Hudock
She yawns, stretches, doesn’t expect surprise,
but then that’s how it works, the ways of love.
Left on her pillow, a red carnation–
its fragrance nearly disguising autumn,
and a love note written there on parchment–
promises, goodbyes… outside, it rains.
There were days when she didn’t like the rain,
when she could only hope for the surprise
of a lover’s promise etched in parchment.
Forever, he writes, I’ll wait for your love
as summer fires burn into autumn
and the petals of this one carnation
tremble and break. I wait. This carnation
will not bleed into the puddles of rain
that tear the leaves from the trees in autumn.
It’s eternal. This love. Does that surprise
you? And so infernal, it is, this love,
its flames touch the edges of this parchment.
She traces fingers across the parchment
and reaches out to grasp the carnation.
Breathing in its scent, it smells of his love
and walking outside under the spring rain.
And she isn’t sure why she’s so surprised
he still loves her–even in the autumn.
Cold winter dampens the flames of autumn,
but embers of the heart trace parchment
with charcoal letters. Why is she surprised?
The unexpected gift of that carnation
has dried out the clouds and staved off the rain.
Sunlight glistens on the tears of her love.
And that’s just it. No one expects to love,
not near the fiery edge of autumn.
When winter’s ice overpowers the rain
and encases those words in the parchment
like a glass display. And the carnation
fades so slowly. What a happy surprise.
Awaken sweet sweet surprise, and embrace love!
Blooming carnations even in autumn,
and always keep this parchment for when it rains.